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Customer Reviews

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4.0 out of 5 stars
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on 24 March 2000
My three and a half year old has wanted to read this book every day since I bought it. Although Paula and Demetrius's parents aren't the same as my ex and I, reading about other children with "problem parents" seems to have helped my daughter talk about and release some of her feelings about our divorce. She's pointed out how we're different to the Ogglebutts and laughed at them. This book is completely non-judgemental. It tells everything from the children's point of view and shows how they're stuck in the middle and that its *not* their fault. And it's hilarious.
The book used to be available as "The Un-Wedding".
I wish there were more kids stories about divorce and children with two homes.
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on 8 March 2017
Great book for parents even better book for children. Simple and funny. Will definately help navigate the difficult subject of divorce with young children.
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on 16 December 2007
What a brilliant book!

Key example - first time I ever read this to my 4 year old daughter...

The two parents in the book are arguing and fighting all the time (all very humorously), and their two children, our main characters, wonder if it might all be their fault. As soon as that question was posed my daughter piped up with, "It is!". I was stunned.

Of course on the next page it is explained how, at a meeting of all the kids at school who have problem parents, it was unanimously decided that it is NOT the fault of kids if "their parents behave like 5 year olds".

From that moment on my daughter has agreed with the book every time, and realises that our separation is not her fault.

This is SUCH a classic thing for kids to think, and I am so grateful that this book surfaced this idea in my daughter's mind (it was obviously already there) and then showed her in a very powerful way what the actual truth is.

I also recommend "It's not your fault, Koko Bear". When I bought these two books and read them to my daughter it made an immediate and profound difference to her, how she felt about handover times, etc.

Buy it!
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on 29 March 1999
For people not wanting an American "shrink's couch" perspective, this book is a good European alternative. The story is stylish and doesn't put too much focus on words such as Divorce, but takes a lighter approach at the whole issue of parents living separately.
Best book on the topic I've seen so far - by a long way
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on 1 May 2007
I wanted a book to help explain to my 5 year old daughter that she will have two homes and that mummy and daddy are separating. This is the first she picked from a few I ordered from Amazon and she was giggling and laughing through it. I've never see that reaction before!

The book explains how mum and dad have differences and that they get 'un-married' in a comical well drawn and well written children story book way. Uncomplicated. Definate for any 4 to 8 year old who you feel needs a reassurance that he/she isn't the only one who has parents that split up and helps the parent explain and discuss (what does unmarried mean? was one question I had). I love it - hope you do to.
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I have respect for Babette Cole and the publishers of this book, and it may be appropriate in some circumstances - but certainly not for all children of divorced parents. Note also that all of the characters are caucasion.

The book starts by explaining that the two children in the book have 'problem parents'. It goes on to explain the things that annoy each parent about the other - to make clear that living in the same house is too difficult for them. It frustrated me to see quite stereotypical archetypes here - with mum nagging dad...

The book continues by explaining that the parents have different opinions about everything and then says that living together makes the parents dislike each other, and because of their ugly thoughts, they become uglier people.
The parents then start playing (rather nasty) tricks on each other, which causes the children worry about the adults' behaviour and about whether they are to blame. Sad and confused, they have a meeting at school to discuss 'problem parents' with other kids - at which it's decided that it's not the kids fault 'if their parents behave like five-year-olds.'

The upshot of all this is that the kids arrange an un-marriage, after which they bulldoze the family home - replacing it with two separate homes for their parents (with a tunnel between them for the kids). With this arrangement, the kids get two of everything, and they also get two happy parents - living apart.

There will be some divorces where this book is either tame, or a good representation of adult behavious, and for such cases, perhaps this book would be useful. However, in a more amicable situation, this is rather too much and would be most upsetting for a child. (I'd suggest this is aimed at the pre-8 yrs old market).
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on 19 August 2005
My son is 4 and has suffered quietly after his dad left very suddenly. He thought that it was his fault and has been searching his soul and questioning each time he has not behaved perfectly. It has taken a lot to get him to talk about how he feels and this book helped. Another book that was excellent was 'It's not your fault, Koko bear' by Vicki Lansky
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on 19 August 2016
I was extrememely shocked at the content and distressing storyline on this book. As a primary teacher and a single parent I would not recommend this book to anyone and believe that the bulldozing of the family home would have very severe, detrimental effects on the emotions of young children who are already feeling confused and vulnerable. This would not reassure my four year year old or my seven year old and would not make them feel safe and secure about their own family situation, or indeed about the futute of their family home.
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on 31 January 2013
This book is so useful when working with children who are experiencing parental break up - and the humourous approach allows a difficult issue to be addressed in a lighter way.
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on 13 February 2013
It's a lovley book as you would expect from Ms Cole. It's funny and the pictures are lovley . The only problem is that the wonderful solution that the warring parents come to is only possible because they are so bloody rich. If only this were possible for all divorcing couples.Might give children an unrealistic idea of what life will be like in the future.
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